Lotus Exige Sport 350

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In cars  you won’t see in road going form in the US, please add the tartan interiored (???) Lotus Exige Sport 350 – a lot like the last S version, but now with less (weight, time to 60mph, that sort of thing). Full details below, including some pics of that fantastic interior decoration.

  • 51 kg lighter than previous Exige S
  • 345 hp and in excess of 300 hp/tonne
  • 0-60 mph in 3.7 Seconds and top speed of 170 mph
  • Heritage Tartan interior and new colour and trim options

As the ultimate incarnation of the world famous Exige, Lotus has revealed the Sport 350, the latest version of the class-leading and award winning sports car, that’s lighter and faster than ever before.

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The new Exige Sport 350 is the next model in the range to mark the reintroduction of the renowned ‘Sport’ naming designation. It joins the recently announced Lotus Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 –delivering a lighter and even more performance-focused driving experience.

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Jaguar F-Type – Now available for less cash (in the US)

Jag F Type 2016

Jaguar North America today announced it will expand the price range of the F-TYPE lineup in the U.S. for the 2017 model year to include new entry-level coupe and convertible models which lower the introductory price of the F-TYPE Coupe & Convertible to $61,400  and$65,400 respectively.

The new entry model F-TYPE will feature a supercharged 340-hp 3.0L V6 mated to the 6-speed manual transmission. Entry models with rear-wheel drive and Quickshift automatic transmission configurations will also be available. The new derivatives come standard with a fixed metal roof in the coupe configuration and a new 6-way adjustable partially electric seat, as well as new standard features such as a valet mode and solar attenuating windshield glass. On an equipment adjusted basis, this new model represents an overall savings of about $1,700 over the previous model year F-TYPE and gives customers a new lower price point for getting into the vehicle.

The F-TYPE continues to come standard with important features such as the Meridian™ 770W surround sound audio system, navigation, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, leather and suedecloth finished sport seats and Jaguar InControl® Apps™. Further options can be outfitted on F-TYPE models individually or with a new Premium trim/option package.

Building on the expanded product line-up and more competitive pricing, every 2017 model year F-TYPE and all 2017 Jaguar models will come standard with Jaguar EliteCare coverage for added peace of mind. First announced for the 2016 model year, Jaguar EliteCare is a best-in-class2 ownership package offering a new vehicle limited warranty with complimentary scheduled maintenance, roadside assistance and Jaguar InControl® Protect & RemoteTM for five-years or 60,000 miles – whichever comes first.

2016 Turbo Charged 911

It appears once again that rumors of the demise of the 911 were a little premature, at least according to the boys over at Evo today. Check out the video of the quick first impressions, and then take a look at their site later in the week for a more comprehensive review.

Audi A8 L 4.0 Sport

2016 Audi A8 4.0 Turbo Sport

That’s a big title for a big car (but one of my favorite big cars). Audi announced this week their twin turbo sport model of the top of the line A8 with an improved 450 bhp and a bump of other good stuff listed below, for the “bargain” price of just $90k. Ever since Ronin I’ve been a huge fan of the Audi big car, and I think one day when I get rich I might own an S8 as my family car/daily driver (unless the nice Audi people send over the RS6 wagon to this side of the pond). Anyway, enough of the chatter – here’s the full details.

Featuring more power and enhanced luxury inside and out, the Audi A8 L 4.0T Sport model enters the Audi lineup for 2016. The variant of the Audi A8 flagship sedan boasts an enhanced 4.0T twin turbo V8 engine achieving an impressive 450 hp, an increase of 15 hp from the previous 4.0T model. The Sport model also includes a muscular front fascia with larger air intakes for a more commanding presence on the road.

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BMW M2 – It’s official

2016 BMW M2 Blue

After months of speculation and lots of guess work, the official details of the M2 is now here. Major upgrades from the M235i abound – check out the details in the full press release below, but here’s a couple of the main ones

  • Power at 365bhp and torque at 343 lb-ft (and overboost up to 369 when needed)
  • Manual gearbox (hurrah!) along with a twin clutch transmission if that’s your deal
  • 0-60 in 4.2 with a top speed limited to 155mph
  • Wider track at both the front and rear
  • Fully variable Active M Diff

So, all in all, everything that everyone was hoping for (at least I think – really, really hoping this drives well). This could be the new M3 in spirit if not in name….

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Full Press Release Details

Today, BMW M GmbH unveiled the newest member of its product family. The coveted M badge has been placed on the popular BMW 2 Series in the form of the all-new 2016 BMW M2. The 6-cylinder under the hood is in keeping with the finest M tradition, ensuring unbeatable driving dynamics on the trace track with exceptional power delivery and the signature, outstanding driving behavior thanks to rear-wheel drive agility and lightweight aluminum M Sport suspension. The innovative M TwinPower Turbo technology ensures outstanding torque available across a wide rev band with rapid responses and excellent efficiency, raising the pulse with its distinctive engine soundtrack.

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2016 Jaguar XJ – Details Announced

Jag XJ 2016 Portfolio Edition

Even though English cars typically don’t work too well (personal experience as the Range Rover Sport is currently receiving a brand new engine after 3 years and less than 35k miles of work), I’m still a fan. Jaguar has typically always verged on the driver side of the handling equation, even with it’s big models, and having had the opportunity to briefly drive one of the previous models, I’d have to say the weight reduction program and suspension tuning where definitely what I’d be interested in if I was buying a big car.

So today, Jag announces the 2016 model – a mild refresh of the exterior (along with some optional packages to spice things up a little), a thankfully new entertainment system (the old one was the same as the one in our RR and to say it’s a little slow is something of an understatement). Lots of details below if you’re interested.

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Featuring a new, more progressive look, the exterior of the 2016 XJ incorporates an updated front fascia that includes a larger, more upright grille with a new mesh pattern, a subtly redesigned front bumper and newly sculpted chrome blades in the lower air intakes.  Underscoring its dynamic on-road performance, XJR models are distinguished with a black trim package that includes the addition of a black front grille, black lower air intake surrounds and black window surrounds.

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Inside, standard wheelbase XJ models feature soft grain perforated leather seats with contrast stitching, contrast piping and an embossed leaper on the headrests. XJ R-Sport models retain the previous model year’s 8×8-way power front seats plus 4-way lumbar adjustments, while XJ Supercharged models are fitted with 14×14-way power seats that include 4-way lumbar support, allowing drivers to tailor the seating position and comfort to their own liking. 14×14-way seats will also be available on XJ R-Sport models as part of the Comfort Pack that bundles the increased adjustment features with front seat massagers, passenger memory, 4-zone A/C and an electric rear sunblind.

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The new XJ offers the familiar Jaguar range of all-aluminum V6 and V8 engines. Each featuring direct injection, variable valve timing, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems which deliver high performance with enhanced efficiency. The 3.0-liter supercharged V6 develops 340hp and 332 lb-ft of toque and is available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Characterized by its linear power delivery and free-revving nature, this engine also delivers a unique soundtrack thanks to meticulously-tuned intake and exhaust systems. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 continues to be offered in 470hp and 550hp variants, delivering all of the performance promised by the dramatic styling of the XJ. All powertrains feature a specifically-optimized eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF®.

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For 2016, the XJ is equipped with InControl Touch Pro™, an all-new infotainment system designed to be simple and intuitive. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive and a next-generation Ethernet network, InControl Touch Pro can handle large amounts of data and is exceptionally powerful and responsive. The centerpiece of the system is its eight-inch capacitive touch-screen that works more like a modern smartphone, than an automotive infotainment system. The home screen can be customized selecting one of several available wallpaper images, widgets offer shortcuts to favorite features and functions, and additional home pages can be added, if desired. The touch-screen responds to common ‘pinch to zoom’ and ‘swipe’ gestures allowing drivers to scroll between home screens. Using this technology, the simple, intuitive user interface of the InControl Touch Pro system is designed to minimize driver distraction. Jaguar has also incorporated a secondary full-screen navigational display in the vehicle’s updated instrument cluster, improving line of sight driving and reducing the amount of time a driver needs to take his eyes off the road.

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The functionality of the navigation system is just as impressive. Maps stored on the 60GB solid-state drive of the InControl Touch Pro system can be accessed quicker than with conventional hard drives. Dead-reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received. InControl Touch Pro enables door-to-door route planning and guidance, including public transportation options. A companion app allows drivers to plan their route offline and load it into the system at the start of the journey. Once the driver exits the car and the phone is disconnected from the vehicle, the app will continue to provide navigational directions, if need be, on the driver’s phone. A new Commute Mode has also been developed which learns the driver’s daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information. Approach Mode displays a 360-degree interactive view of the driver’s surroundings on the infotainment screen as they get to within 656ft (200m) of their destination, and can even direct the driver to the nearest available parking space.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Details Release

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It’s been anticipated for a long time, but the official details and pics of the 2016 Chevy Camaro have been released promising higher levels of performance, technology and refinement.

The Gen Six Camaro provides a faster, more nimble driving experience, enabled by an all-new, lighter architecture and a broader powertrain range. Six all-new powertrain combinations are offered, including a 2.0L Turbo, an all-new 3.6L V-6 and the LT1 6.2L V-8, which is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 455 lb-ft of torque (617 Nm) – for the most powerful Camaro SS ever. Each engine is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

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To make it not only the best Camaro ever, but one of the best performance cars available, Chevrolet focused on three pillars of development:

Performance

  • Vehicle mass has been reduced by 200 pounds or more, depending on the model, creating a more nimble, responsive driving experience
  • Most efficient Camaro ever, with a new 2.0L turbo SAE-certified at 275 hp (205 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) – and delivers more than 30 mpg on the highway (GM-estimated), and 0-60 mph acceleration well under 6 seconds
  • Efficient performance in a new 3.6L V-6 featuring direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and – for the first time – Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), offering an SAE-certified 335 hp (250 kW) and 284 lb-ft of torque (385 Nm), for the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated V-6 in the segment
  • The most powerful Camaro SS ever, with a new 6.2L LT1 direct-injected Small Block V-8 rated at 455 hp (339 kW) and 455 lb-ft of torque (617 Nm) (as a note, this is pretty much straight from the Corvette!)
  • Magnetic Ride Control active suspension available on Camaro SS for the first time
  • With improved handling and performance, the Camaro SS delivers better lap times than the fifth-generation’s track-focused Camaro 1LE package.

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Technology

  • All-new Drive Mode Selector, which tailors up to eight vehicle attributes for four modes: Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and – on SS models – Track settings
  • Segment-exclusive, Interior Spectrum Lighting that offers 24 different ambient lighting effects on the dash, door panels, and center console
  • High-definition, configurable color displays – including available dual, 8-inch-diagonal screens.

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Design

  • More athletic-looking, sculptured exterior that complements the tighter, leaner architecture – and offers all-new, modern lighting signatures, including light-emitting diode (LED) technology
  • Greater emphasis on customer personalization with wider range of choices, including 10 exterior colors, five interior color combinations, lighting options and a full complement of dealer-available accessories available at launch – including wheels, stripe packages and additional accessories
  • Aerodynamically optimized design that is the result of 350 hours of wind tunnel testing, reducing drag on LT models and improving downforce on SS
  • All-new, interior with shifter-focused center console, intuitive controls, flat-bottom steering wheel, and higher quality materials throughout
  • Unique control rings around the air vents used for temperature and fan speed adjustments, eliminating the need for conventional buttons

 

 

Updated BMW 3 Series – 2016 Model

2016 BMW 3 SeriesBilled as a mid-cycle refresh, the latest announced changes from BMW are actually a little more extensive than the usual spit and polish approach to bodywork thats commonplace for the these things. It looks like (and I’m really hoping it’s true) they’ve listened to complaints around the crap steering and not up to par sportiness of the current generation with updated components and setup to address those areas.

2016 BMW 3 Series Front

And the other big news is the appearance of the 340i – replacing the 335i at the top of the none-M badged models. The BMW 340i is the first model in the BMW line-up to be powered by the all-new inline 6-cylinder engine (B58) from the new modular BMW EfficientDynamics engine family. The lightweight and rigid all-aluminum unit with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology replaces the N55 powered 335i and tops the 3 Series line-up. It produced a maximum power of 320 hp between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm, a 20 hp improvements over the previous model. Peak torque is an impressive 330 lb-ft, which is available from 1,380 rpm. The new BMW 340i Sedan equipped with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds while the BMW 340i xDrive model takes just 4.6 seconds. All 340i models are governed to a top speed of 155 mph. The new EfficientDynamics 6-cylinder engine is equipped with the latest generation of BMW’s innovative TwinPower Turbo technology, featuring twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. It also incorporates VALVETRONIC fully variable valve lift.

2016 3 Series BMW interior

Although BMW still offer a manual option (at least on the non-diesel versions), the default choice is not the 8-speed automatic, meaning gone are the days of getting your BMW with manual for a couple of grand cheaper than the auto – it’s now a no-cost option (but we should be grateful it’s still there on the list – there’s lots of manufacturers just killing this option altogether over here).

2016 3 series BMW estate station wagon

Some of the specific changes for the updated suspension include: new geometry of the chassis with new front struts with five bolt upper anchors points (versus 3 previously), redesigned electric power steering, new rear damper technology, and updated Dynamic Stability Control. All these updates translate to increased handling capabilities as well as feedback to the driver. It’ll definitely be interested to hear the autopress comments when they get their hands on one.

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There’s also a track handling package available. Designed for the driving enthusiasts and available on the gasoline engine models only, consists of Variable Sport Steering, Adaptive M Suspension and M Sport Brakes with high temperature Euro brake pads mounted to blue calipers that highlight the new 3 Series sportiness while sharpening handling. The package includes 18” Light alloy wheels in Orbit Grey with Michelin Super Sport Tires, which emphasize maximum performance while providing excellent handling. Optional 19” wheels are also available on all 340i models. Variable steering of any kind scares the crap out of me (have you ever read a decent review of such a system for a performance car?) so not quite sure why that would be a key part of the track package. But I guess we’ll see.

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There’s also a few minor changes for exterior and interior designs, all seem nice enhancements (like automatically getting what was previously the Sportline option as standard on the 328i, 328d and 340i models). And the now obligatory announcement that the line will include a plug-in hybrid coming out in 2016, with a 22 mile electric only range when needed (handy for avoiding the congestion charge in London!).

Audi TT 2016 Model Details and Pricing

Audi TT 2016 Blue

Audi today announced pricing for the all-new 2016 Audi TT model line. The iconic vehicle boasts an exciting new design characterized by the use of innovative technologies and driver-focused performance.

Audi TT Digital Dashboard Display

The Audi TT revolutionizes the way the driver interacts with the vehicle through the innovative virtual cockpit. An entirely digital instrument cluster, the virtual cockpit replaces traditional gauges and interfaces for a customizable driving experience. Unveiled at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show, the virtual cockpit combines the functions of a central MMI® system with a conventional instrument cluster in one unique, 12.3-inch 1440×540 pixel TFT display with superb 3D graphics and brilliant clarity. The TT will also feature the most advanced version of Audi connect®, including picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook® and Twitter® alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds and more.

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The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster will feature a 2.0L TFSI® engine with 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque for a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds (coupe) and 5.6 seconds (roadster). The performance tuned Audi TTS Coupe will feature a 2.0L TFSI engine with 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque for a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds. All models offer standard Audi drive select and quattro® permanent all-wheel drive for exceptional dynamics, excellent traction and superb grip. In its first application, the Audi drive select system on the 2016 TT now allows the driver to adjust the quattro all-wheel drive system, as well as the shift points, throttle response, steering.

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The quattro system has been specifically tuned for the TT & TTS to continuously shift power to the wheels that grip and has a rear-wheel bias when the Audi drive select is in the dynamic mode. The unique quattro calibration reads sensors 150 time every 10 milliseconds to optimally adjust power. This gives the quattro system the ability to shift up to 100% of power to the rear or the front axle when needed.

Model Pricing
TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI $42,900
TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI $46,400
TTS Coupe 2.0 TFSI $51,900

 

Nissan GT-R – Gold Edition

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

I guess everyone is getting in on the Apple Watch gold craze these days, none more so than Nissan who today announced they were going to offer a special Gold Edition GT-R for 2016.

The 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, built off of the GT-R Premium model, commemorates the GT-R’s long heritage of world-class high performance. Featuring a special gold paint color, the limited edition model also includes a special gold-tone VIN plate located inside the engine compartment and a special commemorative plaque on the interior center console. The paint color itself is the same “Silica Brass” color that marked the 2001 Skyline GT-R M-Spec (R34 Type). Fewer than 30 of these special GT-Rs are slated for the United States market.

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of gold, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon (but I will of course take one of these bad boys if the Nissan USA Press Office wants to lend me one for a month or two….).